What's New this Flu Season?

Doug Mendoza
December 8, 2017

To find a location near you to get the flu vaccine, go to healthvermont.gov/flu or dial 2-1-1.

Clark County has confirmed one flu-related death so far this season in Las Vegas and surrounding areas.

Five children have died, and an additional 566 flu-related hospitalizations have occurred as of November 25.

Compared to this time previous year, experts say there are double the number of confirmed cases of the flu.

A report published today shows the rate of adults getting vaccinated against influenza this year has dropped 3.7 percent, meaning just a third of adults and children are protected.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is to pause a plan to administer hepatitis A vaccines to children older than 12 months after the legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee questioned the plan's effectiveness yesterday.

"The most predictable thing about flu is that it's unpredictable", Brammer said. But health officials still recommend getting the flu shot, saying it still inoculates against H1N1 and is better than having no protection.

Last year's vaccine was 42 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but that number has been significantly lower in other years. "The vaccine doesn't work as well for H3N2 viruses in general". While some people get flu even after receiving a flu shot, the vaccine frequently lessens the severity and duration of illness.

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Not everyone agrees that the flu shot is one of the best ways to protect families and prevent serious complications, including Dr. Erika Schwartz, an internist and founder of a medical practice in New York City that focuses on wellness and disease prevention.

For the elderly or others who are especially vulnerable, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help lesson symptoms.

"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said.

Doctors typically look south to get an idea of what's coming.

The groups medical professionals say are at risk for the flu, older people and pregnant women.

"So given that, particularly for the H3N2 component, the vaccine effectiveness we're anticipating will be low", predicted Skowronski.

"We do see a predominance of the H3N2 virus that was common last season", Flannery said.

Other reports by GizPress

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